How Coca-Cola Turned Sponsorship into a Lasting Impression

Coca-Cola and the Olympics have a relationship that stretches all the way back to the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games. For 88 years, the brand has been a sponsor of the biggest display of athleticism in the world and that relationship has only gotten stronger over the years.


Advertising and brand engagement have undergone major changes since the early days of the Olympic Games. Print and radio advertising plays a much more minor role these days. Now, social media platforms have become major players in the world of marketing. Social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have worked together to make this year’s Games an incredibly social event.


According to Senior Communications Manager Christy Amador, Coca-Cola is a brand that looks for their content to be liquid and linked, meaning they need to be flexible and connected across different channels. For this year’s Games, they landed on a campaign that ties together aspiration, inspiration, and emotion with #That’sGold and the tagline “Together is Beautiful.” They used footage of many international athletes performing their sport for the campaign, using bite-sized snippets across the digital media platforms.


How does a brand take this simple message and spread it across its many social media platforms and tie it all together to make a lasting impression without pushing the sale?


It’s not about making the sale; it’s about making the connection


During the Olympic season, what people want is to feel connected and inspired. They do not want their favorite brands trying to sell, sell, sell. Instead, Coca-Cola took its campaign and used it to celebrate achievement and togetherness across the globe. It showed the world that now is a time to focus on sportsmanship no matter what race, religion or nationality. At no point in the campaign do you see them encouraging people to buy their product. They’re not selling drinks, they’re forging a connection.


Be in the moment


What Coca-Cola did really well during the Olympic Games was stay in the moment throughout the games. Content was posted in real time to stay connected with their audience during moments they were watching from home. They showed people that they were right there with them, keeping an eye on the action and joining in with the excitement as the athletes performed.


Keep the message consistent


Another thing that Coca-Cola did a great job of with its #ThatsGold campaign is connecting that message to product presentation as well with the gold aluminum commemorative cans. These limited edition cans had the Olympic rings together with the message #ThatsGold. It’s a great way to tie in their social message to a physical item that consumers can buy without pushing the sale.


Creative content for a diverse audience


The content on social media varies greatly- videos, photos, GIFs, surveys, illustrations. Each person in the audience responds differently to each type of content. Coca-Cola did not limit themselves to just one or two types of content. Instead, they reached out with a variety in order to stay relevant for their target audience.


There are so many ways for a brand to make a lasting impression with the people it wants to reach. Coca-Cola’s summer Olympics campaign is an excellent example of how to do it right without coming across as a pushy salesperson. They created content that people were excited to engage with and it helped to grow their audience across all social media platforms. How can you improve your message with these cues from Coca-Cola?

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